Special Needs

InSpirit offers individualized assistance to meet a wide range of services and unique needs assisting people with necessities that may be financially beyond their resources. An example of this assistance is wheelchair service. 

When a wheelchair breaks down it can be difficult to get it repaired in a timely manner— not to mention expensive and cost-prohibitive to replace. Because of this, it is not uncommon for people to go without their wheelchairs for months. This leaves them with no mobility and jeopardizes independence. Wheelchair providers are often difficult to locate. Many no longer accept Medicare or Medi-Cal because the reimbursement is long in coming and is so low.  

Meeting Special Needs is a Unique Service

Bill Gets Connected

Bill became quadriplegic as a result of a car accident in his early 20's. He had no family and got by in a subsidized apartment with sketchy attendant care. Eventually serious respiratory problems required surgery and rehabilitation in a nursing home. Bill felt defeated by his ability to be independent. InSpirit and Marin CIL worked together to create options for him to return home with better attendant care, but he had lost his confidence and chose to remain in the nursing home. Bill was to spend the next two decades there.  He seemed unmotivated until someone loaned him a computer. He was elated!  Soon he was able to express his warmth, humor and intelligence through e-mails. Over the years, InSpirit purchased two computers for Bill and paid for his phone and Internet service. Not only did he have more access to the world, he also had friends and volunteers helping him "stay connected." 

Diane assisting Bill with his computer set-up and questions.

Barbie at home with her pet birds.

Meet Barbie

Barbie had MS for many years but she had learned to use her limited resources carefully to craft a support network that meet her needs. She streamlined her care and paid her attendants with her modest disability retirement and the assistance she received from InSpirit. Friends and volunteers came to feed her lunch each day. One of her greatest joys was her pet birds. InSpirit located a volunteer who came regularly to clean the birdcages. When agencies started experiencing serious financial problems, some of Barbie's medical supplies could no longer be provided. In addition to the assistance InSpirit gave for attendant care, we also purchased some of her essential supplies.

Abelina Presevers

Abelina survived and is persevering after a violent domestic shooting incident which left her quadriplegic. She was on a ventilator and could not speak for several months. InSpirit is one of many in the community that have helped her move forward. InSpirit helped to get her set up with attendant care and provided a Hoyer lift so she can be transferred easily into her wheelchair.  Abelina wants to return to her work as a real estate agent, and judging from her ability to send text messages with only limited use of her fingers, she's well on her way.  Abelina says: "The Hoyer lift has made a huge, huge difference in my life. You have no idea how good it feels to have my personal needs met and not have to wait till someone shows up who can lift me. When I'm stuck in bed is when I feel handicapped.”

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Abelina with her attendant.

Joe with his family.

A Family Prevails

Joe was injured in a diving accident in 2001 at age 28. After a stay in rehab, he went into a nursing home. His family was not familiar with how to care for a quadriplegic, but when his stepmother Dale visited him and saw his condition, she was determined to bring him home to his native Marin. She and his father Steve added an elevator to their hillside home and converted their living room into an accessible, supportive environment for Joe. Joe began receiving IHSS and the family learned to navigate the ins and outs of home care. Dale has become a champion advocate helping Joe through health complications and working tirelessly through the homecare worker’s unions. She doesn't stop there -- she is an avid gardener and contributes abundantly to InSpirit's plant sale. Joe now tutors fourth-graders at Bahía Vista School. It has been an honor to provide occasional respite support to give his family caregivers a week off to recharge.

Lending a Hand for a Companion Seat

Helping George and Joanne with the companion seat is an excellent example of how InSpirits special-needs program can lend a hand. The companion seat manually pivots and electrically extends the seat out of the front passenger doorway. George can transfer Joanne in from her wheelchair directly into the extended car seat which lifts and pivotes Joanne into the van.

Aneice with George and Joanne.